After a successful test day at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Sir Chris Hoy is ready to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. His rapid rise to the pinnacle of Endurance racing has been made possible through sheer hard work and determination from Hoy himself, and assistance from Nissan and their GT academy programme.
The multiple gold medalist has linked to the Japanese company through Nissan’s role of being official automotive partner of Team GB and Paralympics GB for whom Hoy is a mentor.
After retiring from cycling in 2013, having become Britain’s most successful Olympian ever at London 2012, Hoy decided to focus on his ‘hobby’. He had a track car which he drove at Oulton Park and progressed to competition by entering into the Radical SR1 Cup – which he won. From there, He joined the Nissan GT academy – an intensive driver development scheme, and was then placed into the 2014 British GT Championship driving a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
Sharing the car with GT academy Europe winner, Wolfgang Reip, He scored his first British GT podium with a second place finish when the championship migrated to the famous Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.
Progressing to Prototypes and driving a Nissan powered Ginetta for Team LNT in the new LMP3 class of the 2015 European Le Mans Series, Hoy and team-mate Charlie Robertson won three of the opening four rounds, including his home race at Silverstone, and went on to claim the championship.
The next step for Hoy is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which he takes on next weekend. Still with Nissan power but now driving Onroak LMP2 machinery at Alagarve Pro Racing alongside new team-mates, team owner Michael Munemann and Renault backed single-seater driver Andrea Pizzitola.
Sir Chris managed to cover 30 laps of the Circuit de la Sarthe during the test day, logging over 400 Kilometers.
“The car didn’t miss a beat. The track was pretty green and slippery out there early in the session but even so I was really pleased with my lap times and I was able to chip away and get quicker and quicker,” Hoy said
“It’s great to be back on this track – it is such an amazing circuit. Looking forward to the race weekend I’m really not focused on the results, I’m just trying to do the best job I can. Whenever I’m in the car I’m driving to the absolute limit of my abilities – not beyond it – and trying to finish the race. It is such a challenge to just survive the race. I’m really not thinking beyond just trying to do my job”.
“As soon as you start thinking about winning or getting on the podium it just distracts you from what you are trying to do”.
Hoy, Munemann, Pizzitola and Algarve Pro Racing are scheduled for scrutineering on Monday 13th June and track action on Wednesday 15th June when free practice takes place, followed by the first qualifying session for the race.